Dredge will be at Hatteras Inlet in about 10 days
pipeline dredge Richmond is expected to make its way from Ocracoke’s
Silver Lake Harbor to Hatteras Inlet within 10 days.
Bullock, chief of navigation for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said
today that the dredge should finish its work in the harbor in the next
two days, if there are no problems.
Then, the crew has to pack
up the miles of pipe, which will take a few days. After that,
dredge will move at two knots through the Pamlico Sound up to Hatteras
Inlet where it will take a few days to unpack the pipe and position it
for dredging the Rollinson Channel between Hatteras and Ocracoke.
Silver Lake harbor project has taken a whole lot longer than anyone
thought,” Bullock said. The delays were due, of course, to Hurricane
Sandy’s arrival on the Outer Banks at the end of October, followed by
several northeasters. “They’ve spent a lot of days dredging
the channel entrance.”
Safety of dredge personnel is the chief concern as to when the dredge
dredge captain makes the safety determination,” Bullock said. In
addition, the dredge has worked mainly at night when it is out of the
way of the ferries.
Heavy shoaling at both locations occurred in
late August 2011 after Hurricane Irene, with the most shoaling in the
The Richmond arrived in Ocracoke in early
September to dredge the Big Foot Slough and Silver Lake Harbor before
it goes to the Hatteras Inlet.
The Ocracoke slough extends west
from the “Ditch,” or the harbor opening, out to a small island of sand
built over the years by dredge spoil, and which is locally known as
“Bird Island.” Dredge material in Hatteras will be deposited
Cora June Island, Bullock said.
Bullock said the dredging depths for all of these projects is 12 feet
and will follow the channels already there.
“They stay as close as possible to where Mother Nature already wants
the water,” he said, which helps to ensure success.
Dixon, North Carolina Department of Transportation Ferry Division
deputy director, said today that he has asked the corps to dredge the
most shallow areas first. Those are the areas at channel markers 12A,
13A, 9, and 10 B. After that, the entire channel will be
this, we should have a sustainable channel that will last many months,”
he said, noting that the entire project may take until March to
“I talk to Roger almost daily,” he said. “We’ve worked
a long time to get this contract together. We’re just thankful we got
the pipeline dredge here.”
Up the beach, the sidecaster dredge
Merritt has been put into action to do emergency dredging in the
Rodanthe channel, Bullock said.
Meanwhile, ferries between
Hatteras and Ocracoke have experienced some challenges this week
because of shallow water, said Lucy M. Wallace, communications officer
for the Ferry Division. Two ferry runs were suspended on
“The Hatteras Inlet is more of a wind-driven issue,”
Wallace said about the ferries’ ability to traverse the channel in
shallow water. “If the winds are (quiet) and there’s enough water, we
can handle the runs.”
However, until the channel gets dredged, suspensions could still happen
in the next several weeks, she said.
ferry captains are very conscientious,” she said. “There are a lot of
factors that play into (whether or not to suspend a run).”
advised travelers between the two islands to stay up-to-date as to
conditions via the Ferry Division’s website or Twitter, as well as the
NC DOT NC 12 Facebook page that monitors the situation at the S-curves
in Rodanthe. Travelers may also call the Hatteras ferry
The Richmond is owned by the Cottrell Contracting Corporation of